Monroe may wobble but she won’t fall down.
Marilyn Monroe shows up just about everywhere, and here she is yet again where we didn’t expect to see her—fronting a Malaysian film publication that appeared today in 1953. The magazine, called Filmalaya, is in English, which marks it as aimed at the British colonial community that occupied the upper stratum of society in Malaysia and Singapore. The cover photo is from a publicity series made when Monroe filmed the movie Niagara in Ontario, Canada in late 1952, and let’s just assume her perch is not as precarious as it seems and there’s a handy ledge or lawn behind her in case she goes heels up. But if she does, there are other stars in the magazine, such as Joan Collins, Betty Grable, Rhonda Fleming, Ava Gardner, and Nat King Cole.
Filmalaya represents an interesting snapshot into colonial society, as in the article about Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in London, which describes the thrills and excitement in Malaysia during the event. Doubtless, the mood around the Commonwealth probably seemed festive when viewed from inside the colonial bubble, but we doubt actual Malaysians were particularly moved. Needless to say, this magazine is rare, but luckily items from Asia are often a bargain, so this cost a mere six U.S. dollars. While the inside is nothing special visually speaking, that doesn’t matter when the magazine has this great cover and is such an informative slice of history. We’ve uploaded a few of the best pages below. Enjoy.
Hmm, maybe I should change this wallpaper.
Some well known photographers have contributed to the Goodtime Weekly Calendar, but the above image is by a true icon—Bruno Bernard, aka Bernard of Hollywood. The German-born Bernard possessed a doctorate in criminal psychology and had no formal photographic training, but after leaving Germany in 1937 was operating his own portrait studio within a year. His second studio was on Sunset Boulevard, and that’s where he worked for 25 years, along the way creating such iconic images as Marilyn Monroe’s Niagara and River of No Return promos, Lili St. Cyr’s Indian headdress and transparent bathtub shots, and portraits of virtually every star in mid-century Hollywood. The Goodtime Calendar has several other Bernard contributions, and you’ll see those as the year continues.
As a side note, you may be wondering why we’re showing you this second week of July image a week early. It’s because we’re headed off to Sevilla, Spain tomorrow for a week or so, and we won’t be posting during that time. Well, you never know. Probably we won’t. Depends on what we see. But anyway, we didn’t want our vacation to interrupt our Goodtime Weekly series, so you get this page a week early. You also get the quips a week early:
July 7: “When a man opens the car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.”—Larry Attebery
July 8: When a pensive little thing gets married, she often becomes an expensive little thing.
July 9: “A psychiatrist is a man who doesn’t have to worry so long as other people do.”—Pat Buttram
July 10: “A Hollywood guy changes his name once, a dollar bill once in a while, and his girl once she gets wise.”—Joe Hamilton
July 11: A man is incomplete until he marries—then he’s really finished.
July 12: “Science is dandy, but what makes a world’s fair is sex and cotton candy.”—Gracie Hansen
July 13: Small town: a place where there’s no recreation for single folks once the sun goes down.
Update: Turns out the model is named Terry Higgins. We just discovered this in June 2015, but better late than never. At least you know we're always updating and refining the information on our site.
Come on baby, drive me wild
She was born Denise Matthews in Niagara Falls, Canada. She began her show business career as an actress, using the name D. D. Winters. Her first starring role was in Pierre Brousseau’s Tanya’s Island, one of our favorite bad sexploitation flicks ever, and as eye-catching a debut as you’re ever likely to see. After that she met up with the musician Prince and under his tutelage became simply Vanity. Using that moniker she released music of debatable quality such as the semi-hits "Nasty Girl," and "Drive Me Wild," and continued to act in less-than-stellar-movies, but along the way redefined the word sultry. She posed for this feral promo image around 1982.
The greatest tourist attraction for hundreds of miles around.
French burlesque performer Lily Niagara, seen here at Le Crazy Horse saloon in Paris during filming for Alessandra Blasetti’s sex documentary Europa di notti, 1959.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1933—King Kong Opens
The first version of King Kong
, starring Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray, and with the giant ape Kong brought to life with stop-action photography, opens at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The film goes on to play worldwide to good reviews and huge crowds, and spawns numerous sequels and reworkings over the next eighty years.
1949—James Gallagher Completes Round-the-World Flight
Captain James Gallagher and a crew of fourteen land their B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas, thus completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight. The entire trip from takeoff to touchdown took ninety-four hours and one minute.
1953—Oscars Are Shown on Television
The 26th Academy Awards are broadcast on television by NBC, the first time the awards have been shown on television. Audiences watch live as From Here to Eternity wins for Best Picture, and William Holden and Audrey Hepburn earn statues in the best acting categories for Stalag 17 and Roman Holiday.
1912—First Parachute Jump Takes Place
Albert Berry jumps from a biplane traveling at 1,500 feet and lands by parachute at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. The 36 foot diameter chute was contained in a metal canister attached to the underside of the plane, and when Berry dropped from the plane his weight pulled the canopy from the canister. Rather than being secured into the chute by a harness, Berry was seated on a trapeze bar. It's possible he was only the second man to accomplish a parachute landing, as there are some accounts of someone accomplishing the feat in California several months earlier.
1932—Lindbergh Baby Is Kidnapped
The twenty-month-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, is kidnapped from the family home in East Amwell, New Jersey. Over two months later the toddler's body is discovered in woods a short distance from the home. A medical examination determines that he had died of a massive skull fracture. A German carpenter named Bruno Hauptmann is arrested, tried, and convicted for the crime. He is sentenced to death and executed in April 1936.
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